Howard’s 32 points lead No. 10 Marquette past Butler 76-58

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 15: Head coach LaVall Jordan of the Butler Bulldogs reacts against the Indiana Hoosiers in the second half of the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 15, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indiana won 71-68. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Markus Howard scored 32 points and Sam Hauser added 19 to help No. 10 Marquette pull away from Butler for a 76-58 victory Wednesday night.

The Golden Eagles (19-3, 8-1 Big East) have won eight straight overall and picked up their first win at Hinkle Fieldhouse since the 1989-90 season.

Kamar Baldwin led Butler (12-10, 3-6) with 16 points. Paul Jorgensen and Sean McDermott each scored 10 for the Bulldogs, who have lost three in a row and five of seven.

Howard didn’t just score, he dominated the game.

The junior guard went 9 of 17 from the field in the first half — matching Butler’s team field goal total — and helped the Golden Eagles build a 34-25 halftime lead. He finished 14 for 23 and had five rebounds.

And when the Bulldogs cut the deficit to eight with an 11-0 run midway through the second half, Howard reasserted himself. He made two free throws and scored six points in the decisive 11-0 spurt that gave Marquette a 61-45 lead with 6:34 to go.

The Bulldogs never seriously challenged again on a brutally cold night that forced the cancellation of classes.

Athletic department officials put heaters at each gate and instructed security guards to expedite the screening process to keep fans as warm as possible amid wind chills that were at minus-17 degrees when the doors opened and the sun was still out.

BIG PICTURE

Marquette: The Golden Eagles look every bit as good as advertised. Howard can score from seemingly any place on the court. And the defense not only held the Bulldogs to their lowest scoring total since Dec. 29, it did so in a venue where Butler was averaging more than 80 points per game.

Butler: The Bulldogs are reeling. Since going toe-to-toe with defending national champion Villanova last week, Butler has turned in two subpar performances. Yes, there’s time to get this season turned around, but coach LaVall Jordan needs to find answers fast.

STAT PACK

Marquette: Howard had the 13th 30-point game of his career and moved up three spots to No. 11 on the school’s career scoring list. … Sacar Anim had 14 points and Joey Hauser grabbed eight rebounds. … The Golden Eagles were 8 of 16 on 3-pointers while limiting Butler to 6 of 26 beyond the arc.

Butler: Nate Fowler finished with seven points and six rebounds. … The Bulldogs committed eight turnovers in the first half and finished with 12. They were averaging 10.9. … The Bulldogs are 9-3 at home this season. … Butler honored the late Andrew Smith, a center on two Final Four teams, by asking fans to register to donate bone marrow.

UP NEXT

Marquette: Can avenge its only Big East loss Tuesday when St. John’s visits Milwaukee.

Butler: Will try to avoid getting swept by Seton Hall on Saturday in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

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